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At first I was really pissed off at this article in The Post and now I just think it's kind of funny. The short short version of the article is that the writer, a DC school librarian, fiercely resents that school librarians have to teach Information Literacy. Y'know, how to pick out good information and not cite Wikipedia in research papers. That sort of thing. Instead he would much prefer to foster a love of reading and have high schoolers blissfully lost in Dickens tomes.

To which I reply: Buddy. Go back to teaching English.

Yes, love of reading is a beautiful thing. And the thing is, you're not going to foster it by shoving Victorian doorstops into teenagers' hands. You have to woo them. In the words of Titus Pullo, you have to treat them like you're saddling a skittish horse. Lots of "Shh now" and "There there." Start off easy, with graphic novels. Trust me, if a kid reads Sandman, you'll have 'em on Shakespeare in no time. Easy.

Also, you HAVE to teach IL. HAVE to. If more people were information literate, we wouldn't have Bush in office, trust me. It's just like cataloging and shelf-reading, two other largely unenjoyable activities that are basic musts for us.

It struck me this afternoon that the author, Thomas Washington, has shot himself in the foot if his boss ever figures out that he really wrote that article. (Seriously? A guy named Thomas Washington in DC? Not very creative, is he...) Being a school librarian and saying you don't like IL is like saying you're a chef but you're never working with eggs, butter, flour, sugar, or meat. Well, okay, but good luck finding a job anytime soon.

Mostly I think "Thomas" should just go back to teaching English. Either that, or stop buying the lame ALA posters and get the cool ones with the superheroes. Just sayin'.

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